Insurance Blogs - Germantown - Frederick - MD - Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Agency
Winter and its arctic blast has reached our region, bringing freezing temperatures to much of the country and even some snowfall and icy conditions from melting and freezing. This type of brutal weather can damage homes, and one major risk is frozen water pipes.
Although you might have been caught unprepared this year, there are a number of home improvements that you might want to consider before next winter arrives. You might start by reading this article from ErieSense.com, “How Can I Better Protect Pipes Long Term?” (February, 2014) which will outline some more involved solutions to help you protect the pipes in your home in upcoming years.
Frozen Water Pipe Facts
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety offers the following chilling facts that you might not know.
- Frozen water pipes are one of the biggest risks for home owners when the temperature drops below 32 degrees, and approximately 37% of all frozen pipe failures occur in a basement.
- When a water pipe freezes, it could burst; and an opening of just 1/8-inch in a pipe could typically cause 250 gallons of water to escape in a day’s time.
- A water pipe that ruptures due to freezing can lead to as much as $5000 in water damage.
What You Can do Now if Your Pipes Freeze
If, despite your best efforts, your pipes freeze, the Insurance Information Institute offers this advice:
- If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait for them to burst. Take measures to thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.
- If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills. You don’t want the water to do more damage than it already has.
- Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage. Remove any carpet or furniture that can be further damaged from seepage.
- Make a list of the damaged articles.
- Call your agent or company as soon as you can. An insurance adjuster doesn’t need to see the spill before you take action. However, he or she will want to inspect any damaged items.
- Save the receipts for what you spend—including additional living expenses if you must leave your home until repairs are completed—and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Homeowners Insurance Tip
The Insurance Information Institute tells us that standard homeowners policies will usually cover most of the kinds of damage that result from a freeze. For example, if house pipes freeze and burst or if ice forms in gutters and causes water to back up under roof shingles and seep into the house. You would also typically be covered if the weight of snow or ice damages your house. They advise checking with your agent or company so you’ll be sure what your policy covers.
Here at the Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Agency, our experienced agents in both our Frederick and Germantown offices are always glad to help you when you have questions or wish to discuss your insurance coverage. Why not arrange a no-obligation policy review or contact us at your convenience to be sure you have the best coverage to meet your unique needs at the best rate available.